Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim!
In the Name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The Most Merciful!
DR. PASHA’S ISLAMIC SOLUTIONS
18 Dhul Hijjah 1426/19 January 2006
From the United States of America
I hope you are well.
Here is your next E-Letter. I hope you have had time to read and absorb the others.
If you welcomed them and took the trouble of reading them and reflecting about them, may Allah bless and reward you for doing that. But if you found them an imposition or an encroachment and decided to ignore or delete them, may Allah still bless you and forgive us our trespass on your time and space.
Quite a few of them in rapid succession -- these E-Letters I mean -- as Allah keeps them flowing. When the draught comes, whenever and however it does, they will be gone.
However, in this letter, we will start out where we trailed off in some of the previous ones: visiting and revisiting the recurring and never-ending miracle of Assalamu Alaikum.
And continuing, each one of us according to our own respective capacities, gifts and inclinations, to relate to and internalize the infinite magic and mystery of this divine gift to the Muslims -- those who make a conscious choice to embrace Islam -- and through them to the rest of humanity and to the entire universe.
We want to continue to saturate the world -- whatever miniscule sliver of it we have access to -- with this message till the Muslims and the world realize what a wonderful divine gift they have in their possession.
Therefore, thank you, and Allah bless you, for taking this ride with us.
The Recurring, Ongoing and Ever-Present Miracle of Assalaamu Alaikum: Just Like I Explained in Earlier Letters
What I am saying is this: Islam, no matter how you look at it, is a dazzling, breathtaking kaleidoscope of the most amazing, unusual and improbable messages, teachings, principles, happenings and occurrences. I simply call them miracles.
Just like everything around us in the creation of Allah is a miracle -- the sun, the moon and the stars in the sky; a blade of grass, a grain of sand and every leaf on every tree right here on earth; and every hair, every nail and every cell in our own body and in so many other living beings -- if only we had eyes to see them.
And, just as I explained in earlier letters, like the everyday Muslim greeting of Assalamu Alaikum!
Most other miracles come and go. They are here now and, before you even realize they are there, they are gone -- within the blink of an eye as it were.
The parting of the sea by Moses, Allah bless him.
The raising of the dead by Jesus, Allah bless him.
Or the splitting of the moon by Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
Undoubtedly, these were all miracles that happened in different times at different places at the hands of different prophets and messengers of God, may Allah bless them all. We believe in them because God Almighty confirmed them for us in the Qur’an.
And Qur’an is what stands guard over the veracity and authenticity of some of the key teachings and experiences of some earlier prophets, in earlier times. Allah made the Qur’an their Muhaimin.
The Miracle of Muhaimin
One meaning of the Arabic expression Muhaimin is guard, keeper or custodian. It is someone who keeps a watchful eye over things and is responsible for preserving and protecting them.
Al-Muhaimin is one of Allah’s most glorious names, which means Allah is ever watchful over his creation and protective of it.
And in the Qur’an, Allah defines one of the roles of the Qur’an in this world as Muhaimin, which could mean that the Qur’an stands guard over some of the most significant and important historical verities, messages, teachings, truths, facts and principles in this world, especially as they are embodied in earlier divine revelations. The role of the Qur’an is to provide verification and validation for their essential truth and accuracy.
Hear what Allah has to say in Surah Al-Maa-idah, Aayah 48:
Wa Anzalnaa Ilaikal Kitaaba Bilhaqqi Musaddiqal Limaa
Baina Yadaihi Minal Kitaabi wa Muhaiminan ‘Alaihi.
“And we sent down to you the Book, with Truth, confirming the Book that is before it,
and as a guardian and protector watching over it” (5:48).
Allahu Akbar! What kind of a statement is this?
A book that comes into this world last and confirms and validates the teachings of all the earlier books and revelations! What could be a more persuasive argument for Qur’an’s own truth and authenticity.
Going with the Qur’an: When the Qur’an Says Yes, We Say Yes, But When the Qur’an Remains Silent, We Withhold Judgment
As a result, we believe in the truth of earlier miracles at the hands of God’s many prophets and messengers, may Allah bless them, because and to the extent the Qur’an validates, verifies and confirms them. Beyond that, in cases where the Qur’an is silent, we suspend judgment and await the best proof and evidence that an honest and efficient investigation of the past may uncover.
That is why the report of Jesus, Allah bless him, raising the dead is a fact for us -- because the Qur’an says so.
And that is why the story of Moses parting the sea is also true for us -- because God Almighty said so in the Qur’an.
And that is why we do not commit ourselves with regard to the supernatural or miraculous doings of some others -- because the Qur’an is silent on the subject.
However, historically, and for much of the world, these were events that probably occurred in the context of a particular time and place in front of a particular group of people. And then they were gone -- leaving a lot of people all over the world to wonder if, and whether, and when, and where, and in whose presence and before whose eyes they happened.
Everyday Miracles of Islam
But not so the regular, everyday, commonplace and recurring miracles of Islam that I am talking about. They are eternal and everlasting, just as they are routine, abundant, ongoing, ever-present and overwhelming.
They are with us in every age and place.
Such as, for example, this ordinary little greeting of Assalamu Alaikum that every Muslim uses everywhere so routinely, mechanically and almost nonchalantly, but which on more careful thought turns out to be so totally timeless, global, unusual and extraordinary -- in a word, a miracle.
Assalamu Alaikum is one of the most common, ongoing, ever-present, abiding, universal, accessible and widely seen miracles of all time. In this sense, it is a common man’s miracle.
It is seen by practically everyone everywhere -- all the time. And Muslims own it.
Or Muslims are its devoted, though often ignorant and uninformed, servants.